Elizabeth Borgwardt

Elizabeth Borgwardt

​Associate Professor of History and Law (by courtesy)
PhD, Stanford University
JD, Harvard Law
MPhil, Cambridge University
BA, Cambridge University

contact info:

mailing address:

  • MSC 1062-107-114
    Washington University
    One Brookings Drive
    St. Louis, MO 63130-4899

​Liz Borgwardt specializes in the history of human rights ideas and institutions.​​ Her current project on crimes against humanity in history, law, and politics is under contract with Alfred A. Knopf. ​


A New Deal for the World: America’s Vision for Human Rights, Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2005; paperback, Fall 2007----Excerpts reprinted in Major Problems in American History, 1920-1945: Documents and Essays, Colin Gordon and Thomas G. Paterson, eds., 2d edn, chapter 15, “Political Economy of World War II.”

Roger Fisher, Andrea Schneider, Elizabeth Borgwardt & Brian Ganson, Coping with International Conflict: A Systematic Approach to Influence in International Negotiation Prentice Hall, 1996 (International Relations textbook) 

Roger Fisher, Elizabeth Borgwardt, and Andrea Schneider, Beyond Machiavelli: Tools for Coping with Conflict, Harvard University Press, 1994; Penguin paperback, 1996 (General interest book on problem-solving through negotiation using primarily international examples)

Selected Publications

Articles and Book Chapters

"Constitutionalizing Human Rights,” in The Transformation of American Legal History: Essays in Honor of Morton J. Horwitz, vol 2, Daniel W. Hamilton ad Alfred L. Brophy, eds., Harvard Law School, 2010----Reprinted in New Scholarship in Human Rights History, Akira Iriye, William Hitchcock, and Petra Goedde, eds., forthcoming, Oxford University Press, 2011.

“NGOs at the 1945 UN San Francisco Conference: A Contested History of “Human Rights without discrimination,” in Mobilizing the Movement, Kevin Kruse and Stephen Tuck, eds., Oxford University Press, 2010.

“The Rise and Rise of the Nuremberg Principles,” Diplomatic History, 2010.

“Commerce and Complicity: Corporate Accountability for Human Rights Abuses as a Legacy of Nuremberg,” Diplomatic History, 2010.

“Wartime Transformations in America’s Discourses of Rights” in Bringing Human Rights Home: A History of Human Rights in the United States (3 vols); vol 1, From Civil Rights to Human Rights, Cynthia Soohoo, Catherine Albisa, and Martha F. Davis, editors, Greenwood/Praeger, 2008, 31-55----Reprinted in the one-volume version of this work, published by the University of Pennsylvania Press as part of Pennsylvania Studies in Human Rights series, Bert Lockwood, series editor, 2010.

“FDR’s Four Freedoms as a Human Rights Instrument,” Magazine of History, Organization of American Historians, special issue, Human Rights, vol 22 no 2, April 2008 

“A New Deal for the Nuremberg Trial: The Limits of Law in Generating Human Rights Law,” Law & History Review vol 26 no 3, Fall 2008, 679-705 

“Site-Specific: The Fractured Humanity of J. Robert Oppenheimer,” review essay on five recent books on J. Robert Oppenheimer, for Modern Intellectual History, Fall 2008, 1-25 

“’When you state a moral principle, you are stuck with it,’: The 1941 Atlantic Charter as a Human Rights Instrument,” Virginia Journal of International Law vol 46 no 3, November 2006, 501-562 

“Re-examining Nuremberg as a New Deal Institution,” Berkeley Journal of International Law, vol 23, no 2, July 2005, 401-462 

“Ideology and International Law: The Dissent of the Indian Justice at the Tokyo War Crimes Trial” War Crimes Law, vol 2, in the series International Library of Essays in Law & Legal Theory, General Editor Tom D. Campbell, Ashgate Publishing, 2004, 373-444 

“A ‘New International History’ of the 1960s,” Reviews in American History, vol 32, June 2004, 255-261 (Review Essay on Jeremi Suri’s Power & Protest) 

Book Review of Francis A. Boyle’s Foundations of World Order: The Legalist Approach to International Relations 1889-1922, in Peace & Change vol 27, Oct 2002, 647-654

“The Modern Machiavelli: Legitimacy, Conflict, and Power in the International Legal Order,” UCLA Law Review, vol 43, October 1995, 139-158 (Review essay on Henry Kissinger’s Diplomacy)



Fellow, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University, 2010-2011 

Faculty of Arts & Sciences Teaching Award, Council for Undergraduate Students, Washington University in St Louis, 2010

Faculty Affiliate, Heidelberg Center for American Studies, University of Heidelberg, since 2009

Stuart L. Bernath Lecture Prize, “recognizing excellence in teaching and research in the field of foreign relations” for scholars within ten years of earning the doctorate; lecture delivered to the Society of Historians of American Foreign Relations at the Annual Meeting of the Organization of American Historians, 2010 

Distinguished Graduate Award, Noble & Greenough School, Dedham, MA, 2010 

Gustavus Meyers Human Rights Book Award, for the edited volumes Bringing Human Rights Home: A History of Human Rights in the United States (3 vols), Cynthia Soohoo et al, eds., (chapter in volume 1, From Civil Rights to Human Rights), 2008 

Fulbright Distinguished Lecturer, University of Heidelberg, Center for American Studies, for teaching and research in Human Rights History, Spring 2008 

Merle Curti Award for Best Book in the History of Ideas, Organization of American Historians (co-winner), 2006 

Stuart L. Bernath Award for Best First Book in the History of U.S. Foreign Relations, Society for Historians of U.S. Foreign Relations (co-winner), 2006 

Phi Alpha Theta (History Honor Society), Best First Book Award, 2006 

Gustavus Meyers Human Rights Book Award, Honorable Mention, 2006 

Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History, Harvard University, Visiting Scholar, 2006-07 

Distinguished Lecturer, Organization of American Historians, since 2004 

Student Choice Teaching Award, Associated Students of the University of Utah, 2005 

Outstanding Achievement Award for Faculty, Delta Delta Delta Sorority, University of Utah, 2004 

Center for the Study of Law & Society, Berkeley Law School, University of California at Berkeley, 2004

Elizabeth Spilman Rosenfield Prize, Best Doctoral Dissertation, Department of History, Stanford University, 2003 

Samuel Golieb Fellow in Legal History, New York University School of Law, 2001 

Stuart L. Bernath Dissertation Research Award, Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations, 1999 

Littleton-Griswold Dissertation Research Award, American Historical Association, 1998

Ford Foundation “Human Rights” Dissertation Fellowship, University of California-Berkeley, 1998 

Award for Excellence in First-Time History Teaching, Stanford University, 1997 

MacArthur Affiliated Fellow, Center for International Security and Cooperation, Stanford University, 1994-95 

Selected as a Foreign Service Officer, U.S. Department of State (declined), 1989 

Bok Certificate for Teaching Excellence as a Teaching Fellow, Harvard College, 1987; 1988


Recent Courses

U.S. in the World: 18th and 19th century U.S. Foreign Relations

U.S. in the World: 20th century U.S. Foreign Relations

Historical Perspectives on Human Rights and Globalization (Advanced Seminar)

Law & Legal Theory: Debating the Rule of Law in the 20th century

History of the U.S. Constitution: Ideas and Institutions in Comparative Perspective

Advanced Readings in U.S. Foreign Relations

Graduate Colloquium in U.S. Foreign Relations

Modern America in Transnational Perspective


Work in Progress

Book: The Nuremberg Idea: Crimes against Humanity in History, Law & Politics (under contract with Alfred A. Knopf) 

Book: Human Rights Institutions in Latin America: Rhetoric and Reality 

Edited volume: Kurt Steiner, The Tokyo Trial and the Progressive Development of International Law (editor and author of introduction) 

Edited volume: Historical Perspectives on Non-Governmental Organizations (2 volume edited document and essay collection); project on hold due to co-editor Ken Cmiel’s untimely death 

Book chapter: Unexpected Legacies of Nuremberg, edited volume in honor of David M. Kennedy, Bruce J. Schulman and Elizabeth Cobbs Hoffman, eds., under contract with Oxford University Press 

Review Essay on Gary J. Bass, Freedom’s Battle: The Origins of Humanitarian Intervention, for Ethics and International Affairs 

Review of Étienne Jaudel, Le proces de Tokyo: Un Nuremberg oublié for Law & History Review